After 16 Years Operating a Cooking College, LA's Spork Sisters Open Their First Vegan Restaurant

Los Angeles-based vegan icons Heather Golden Ray and Jenny Engel, often known as the “Spork Sisters,” have championed the vegan way of life by means of their cooking faculty for a formidable 16 years. Not too long ago, they stepped onto a brand new stage of culinary innovation with the grand opening of their newest enterprise, a vegan restaurant referred to as Hey, Sunshine Kitchen. 

Ray and Engel, the driving forces behind the plant-based meals firm and cooking faculty Spork Meals, initially made waves in 2007 by imparting their culinary knowledge by means of vegan cooking lessons in Los Angeles. 

Quickly, their cooking faculty expanded from small gatherings of their Silver Lake condominium kitchen to a bigger area in West Hollywood.

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However their journey didn’t cease there; it blossomed into cooking demonstrations, best-selling vegan cookbooks, and now, the conclusion of a long-held dream—a vegan restaurant.

The launch of a vegan restaurant

The trail to Hey, Sunshine Kitchen was not with out challenges, because the idea of opening a restaurant typically met with skepticism as a consequence of its perceived dangers. But, for Ray and Engel, the enterprise was greater than only a enterprise determination; it was a calling. 

“For greater than 15 years, we educated house cooks and cooks at resorts, accommodations, and universities. We have now all the time envisioned that we’d begin a restaurant endeavor collectively,” Ray tells VegNews. “We got here up with the thought for Hey, Sunshine Kitchen as a strategy to promote more healthy consuming inside our neighborhood.”

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Their dream of bringing Hey, Sunshine Kitchen to life began 4 years in the past at a commerce present in Dallas, TX. “We performed with so many iterations of the menu for years,” Ray says. “We had a plant-based barbecue thought at first, however in the end landed on what Hey, Sunshine Kitchen is immediately.”

“We needed to create an area the place everybody, irrespective of their dietary desire, may get pleasure from flavorsome, modern, and hearty plant-based meals,” Ray says. 

In reality, Ray and Engel got here up with the identify, Hey Sunshine Kitchen, at a Denver, CO restaurant referred to as Linger—and, satirically, throughout a thunderstorm. “For those who ever eat there you might even see the portray that impressed our identify,” Ray hints.

Nourishing the LA neighborhood

Situated within the coronary heart of Culver Metropolis, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen emerged because the manifestation of their lifelong ardour. A meticulously curated menu boasts an array of vegan choices, together with recent salads, hearty sandwiches, nourishing bowls, and delectable vegan desserts.

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The choices embrace the Avocado Crunch Salad, that includes sesame-crusted avocado, dried cranberries, candy potato, and a cornucopia of different nutritious components. Ray and Engel’s private favourite is the Mediterranean Chickpea Heat Bowl, with a griddled house-made chickpea patty, caramelized onions, shredded carrots, marinated beets, cucumber, sunflower seeds, recent mint, massaged kale, home pickles, and a creamy lemon herb aioli. 

Consolation meals aficionados aren’t left behind, as Hey, Sunshine Kitchen caters to their cravings with dishes such because the Crispy Rooster Sandwich and Basic Cheeseburger. For a candy deal with, Ray says their Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookie presents a “distinctive and eccentric tackle the traditional chocolate chip cookie.”

With such a various menu, Ray and Engel wish to welcome everybody.

“We acknowledge that consuming plant-based could be a problem,” Ray says. “Some could discover it tough to regulate to the style and texture of plant-based options or could have restricted entry to those choices.”

“At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we hope to supply plant-based, 100-percent non-GMO choices which can be scrumptious to all, no matter whether or not they observe a plant-based eating regimen or not,” she says. 

Devoted to the setting

Hey, Sunshine Kitchen’s mission extends past the menu. In collaboration with Pals of Ballona Wetlands, the sisters launched into an initiative to showcase pollinator-friendly vegetation on their patio, inviting the neighborhood to partake of their environmentally aware efforts. 

For each entrée bought on Mondays, patrons obtain a complimentary plant, solidifying the restaurant’s dedication to nurturing each its patrons and the planet. “At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we’re additionally dedicated to leaving the earth in a greater place for our kids,” Ray says.

Along with furthering the vegan motion in LA, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen stands as a testomony to the ability of dedication, the importance of neighborhood help, and the potential of vegan delicacies. 

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And regardless that Ray and Engel aren’t onsite on a regular basis as they proceed to supervise varied points of the enterprise, Ray says they’ve a devoted staff that’s arduous at work establishing Hey, Sunshine Kitchen as a must-visit Los Angeles vacation spot.

“We love to come back into the area as regularly as attainable to attach with our staff and prospects, collect suggestions, and soak within the vibrant environment,” Engel says. “This permits us to remain intently related to the guts and soul of the restaurant whereas additionally engaged on its long-term development and success.”

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